Saturday 16 February 2013

The Big Egg Hunt 2013: Day 5

Covent Garden was abuzz with people clutching their £3 hunt pack today. Families, Tourists, couples and singles alike took on the hunt with gusto and stamps for completing the hunt were being given out left, right and centre. There was a fantastic atmosphere in the piazza with lots of people taking photographs of the eggs and really getting into the spirit of the thing. One lady had photographed her daughter in front of all 101 eggs. 

Lots of people even went the extra mile, well the extra 0.3 miles to the Action for Children offices to find the recently disowned Alann.

The at times hilarious at times tragic #FindAlannAHome video

Here is a little map to guide you on your way.

Today's Egg of the Day:

Today I rather like Paul Savage's egg 'The Process of Play'. I don't know very much about this artist but the egg really struck me and I thought it warranted inclusion. It takes recognisable children's toys, dinosaurs, aeroplanes, trucks, and army men and combines them into one unit by painting them all the same colour. They are carefully arranged around the surface of the egg facing the top, this creates a kind of pull upwards, so that wherever you look you're eye is always brought back to the top of the egg.

The more I get to know the eggs the harder it is to pick just one Egg of the day so here are a couple of other peoples favourites......

Our fabulous Lindt master Chocolatieress's favourite egg is....

 The Network Rail egg
A fellow Volunteer's favourite egg is.....

 Penguin's Peter Rabbit Egg (my egg of the day from Day 1!)

Another Volunteer from earlier in the week's favourite egg is....

The Foil by Robin Footitt, people keep asking if this is real chocolate... I wish!
An Action for Children employee's favourite egg is....

Sarah Kate Wilson's Egg Disguised as a Pineapple because the pineapple is the international symbol of hospitality.

Another Action for Children employee's favourite egg is....

 Lion Estate by Frank Laws

A Boy doing the hunt with his mum's favourite egg is...... 

 Myung Nam An's Dragon's Eye egg, an original choice as most children have gone for the eggs featuring well loved children's characters.

And Finally an Intern for Action for Children's favourite eggs are.....

So many to chose from she had three (from top to bottom) Jessica May's lovely egg (very appropriate for London Fashion Week), Golden By James Joyce and Equinox by Barbie Harrison

It is incredible what a range of favourites we have but there truly is something for everyone so get down to do the big egg hunt tomorrow before it goes off on it's travels around England.

Friday 15 February 2013

The Big Egg Hunt 2013: Day 4

I had the best morning so far, managing to sell all of my hunt books in the morning which was fantastic! Particularly when you think that £3 (the recommended donation), while very reasonable for what you get, adds up quickly to a substantial donation to Action for Children. It is brilliant to think that just through a mornings work I have made some difference to peoples lives. 

Yesterday was definitely the day for couples doing the hunt but today it was all about the families. Lots of the families that I met had done the egg hunt the previous year and I think they were generally pleased that this year it is contained within the Covent Garden area. It makes the event a little bit easier for youngsters so naturally less stressful for adults.

There is plenty to keep the children entertained throughout the hunt with lots of familiar names and faces.

 Ben 10 egg

Moshi Monster Egg

Humpty Dumpty egg

Thomas the Tank Engine Egg

And don't forget to text the number on the Humpty Dumpty egg to be in for the chance to win a years supply of delicious Lindt chocolate.

Today's Egg of the Day:

Charlie Billingham's 'A Frugal Meal'. Charlie Billingham is an artist working primarly in painting and printmaking but also doing some work with instillations. This young artist is definitely one to watch. At his mid-term show last year the world-renowned art collector Charles Saatchi bought 13 of his works. (

His paintings, this egg included, draw inspiration from 18th Century satirists such as Gillray. And of course the gentleman painted on the egg is engaging in a very appropriate activity.... a good old eggy breakfast.

Gillray John Bull Taking a Luncheon

 Take a look at my posts about Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 to learn a bit more about the hunt and don't forget to come down and see the eggs for yourself and help us raise even more for Action for Children.

Thursday 14 February 2013

The Big Egg Hunt 2013: Day 3

It's eggxactly half way through my cracking half a dozen days as an eggspert. Phew got all of my puns out of the way there. The weather today was much more amenable to working outside with just a couple of light showers here and there. For these patches of dampness we came well prepared with giant red Action for Children brollies.

The stamps to say the hunt had been completed started to come in thick and fast today as many of the hunters who had started either yesterday or Monday had returned to finish off. So congratulations to everyone who has already finished.

Today saw the launch of Eggbert the troublesome hunt mascot who will keep moving around during the hunt. If you find Eggbert let the Egg Hunt makers know via the Facebook page to be in for the chance of winning some Lindt prizes.

If you are thinking of heading down to enjoy the egg hunt tomorrow or over the weekend then maybe give yourself a bit longer and go to watch one of the fabulous magicians at magic corner. Standing there all day we were able to see lots of their performances and it was always so much more fun when the audience really got involved and enthusiastic. The newspaper trick was my personal favourite and I still can't work it out despite having seen it a couple of times but who knows maybe that says more about me then the trick!

But if you do watch don't forget to put some money in the hat, jar, bowl, hand or whatever is offered as believe me they work blooming hard!

Today's Egg of the Day:

Eggsistentialism is designed by Matt Baxter and Dom Bailey co-founders of Baxter and Bailey a London based communication design studio. I particularly like the little Lion quality stamp on the side. This was introduced in the 1950's to mark out British eggs and then reintroduced in 1998 to show eggs from hens that had been vaccinated against Salmonella. A little random fact for you there.

So get down to Covent Garden to enjoy the hunt and some magic this weekend.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

The Big Egg Hunt 2013: Day 2

Two days in and I am beginning to get a better idea of how the eggs are laid out. Although not how Covent garden is arranged, we are constantly being asked for directions and I have found that my orientation is woefully lacking.

I gave my first stamp today to a lady who had visited all the eggs. She said that with a coffee and lunch break the whole thing had taken her 4 hours. Which was frankly impressive and she was thrilled to have found them all. I think I was even more thrilled to stamp her hunt book.

Taking a warming bunny break

The Lindt freebies continue to go down a storm, I mean why wouldn't they. Although one boy bought the £3 egg hunt pack and had no sooner bitten into his Lindt chocolate bunny then he remembered he had given chocolate up for lent. Ooops!

Graham Hunter's 'This is not an Egg' is proving to be the most elusive egg with lots of people asking after it today.

Without giving the game away here is a little clue.


Egg of the Day:

Today's offering is this stunning egg by Lindsey Spinks a freelance illustrator from North-West London. If the style looks familiar to you that is because her work has appeared in various national newspapers and magazines. There are so many little details on this egg that it pulls you in and you just can't help but look at it. I do recommend having a look at Lindsey's website to see more of her fabulous illustrations. Although best avoid the food and drink section of her portfolio if you have given anything yummy up for lent.

Don't forget to get down to Covent Garden before Sunday to see the eggs for yourself and donate some money to Action for Children.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Lindt Big Egg Hunt 2013: Day 1

This year, in the spirit of giving something back, I decided to volunteer on the Lindt Big Egg Hunt. The event was very popular last year and raised around 1 million pounds for Action for Children and Elephant Family. This year the event is raising money for Action for Children.

Me complete with one set of bunny ears!

The egg hunt involves 101 eggs currently distributed around Covent Garden. They have been decorated by artists, illustrators, designers and sponsors and are all completely different and original. After their initial stint in Covent Garden the eggs will then travel around the country visiting Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow before returning to Covent Garden on the 22nd March.

The aim of the game is to find all 101 eggs dotted in and around the covent garden piazza in order to get your hunt book stamped.

You can get the hunt book, a little map, a pen and a scrummy Lindt chocolate from an 'eggspert' like myself for a suggested donation of  £3.  A bargain really considering the hours of fun you could have finding all the eggs.

There is also the extra option of finding the Humpty Dumpty egg and sending a text to the number on the egg's stand. Every day one very lucky sausage will receive a years supply of Lindt chocolate. See if you can spot him in my photographs. 

My first day's experience of volunteering was a pretty cold one, despite my many layers. I got to speak to lots of lovely, friendly and interesting people, including a charming gentleman who obviously had a passion for everything Londonish. He had been up in Spitalfields earlier in the day for the Great Spitalfields pancake race, which from his photos looked absolutely fabulous. I will definitely be attending next year. That is the great thing about volunteering you are able to meet and get chatting to a myriad of different people, which, in a busy city like London is very refreshing.

Naturally the event is particularly popular with families looking for an activity for their day in London. It was fab to watch the children hurtling around finding all the eggs and picking their favorite. The Thomas the Tank engine egg seemed to go down a treat.

Every day I will put up an Egg of the Day and for today's I have chosen..... 

 Penguin's Peter Rabbit Egg. Lets face it he's just too cute.

So get down there, check out the designs, have some fun and help us raise some money for a very deserving charity.

Monday 11 February 2013

Papal Resignations - Then and Now

Today, February 11th 2013, will go down in ecclesiastical history as the day that Pope Benedict XVI resigned. A Papal resignation is an incredibly uncommon event the last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415 to end the great Schism of the church. The Schism meant that for several years there were two popes one residing in Rome the other in Avignon. So lets have a look at how these two popes have been depicted throughout the years.

Then ......

An engraving of Pope Gregory XII by Giovanni Battista Cavalieri from 1584. As this post-dates the popes death the engraving was probably based upon an earlier engraving or painting.We see the pope seated, a very conventional format. He clutches a book demonstrating his quest for knowledge and understanding. In the top right is the papal coat of arms including the crossed key's of St Peter.

 Another engraving of Pope Gregory XII from a private collection, the coloration is a later addition. Sorry for the image it is only available to Bridgman users.

And now.....

This portrait of Pope Benedict XVI was painted by Michael Noakes shortly after the Pope's appointment. It is a comparatively informal representation of a pope painted in his library and presents a friendly and warm impression of the man.

This is a more formal official portrait of Pope Benedict XVI belonging to the Vatican collection. It is a painting in oil by the Russian artist Igor Babailov entitled 'The Truth, The Way and The Life'. 

The famously shy pope is shown looking humble before a marble sculpture of Christ who's hand is raised towards the pope in a gesture of blessing. In the top left we can see the papal coat of arms and in the background the obscure dome of St Peter's.

What Pope Benedict's resignation will mean for his legacy and for the catholic church is yet to be discovered but Popes, past and present, will always be remembered through their portraits.